recently featured a concise description of the festival, "people gather to celebrate the Penis Festival" and "locals take over the streets of Kawasaki during the first week of April to celebrate springtime fertility."
The annual festival is known as Kanamara Matsuri, in English, festival of the 'Big Iron Penis Lord'. The festival has been celebrated for at least 400 years
. It's origins are as fantastic as the huge phallus that is paraded through the streets (left). The fesitval is celebrated on the first Sunday of April each year. This year that is tomorrow, Sunday, April 4 and the festival coincides with the holiday that Christians celebrate as Easter Sunday.
Many centuries ago a demon with sharp teeth invaded the body of a beautiful woman when it learned that she was to wed another mortal. During consummation of the wedding the demon bit off the mortal male groom's penis. It disabled a second suitor in a similar manner. It was only defeated when a local blacksmith constructed an iron penis that destroyed the demon's teeth and killed it.
In New York City, Matsuri, the famous Japanese Restaurant celebrates the event with a special party and phallic menu on April Fool's Day every year. The celebration is tongue in cheek but the menu is real. Chef Tadashi Ono prepares 'Get It Up Hot Pot,' 'Big Sausage,' and 'Hard Banana Cream Pie.'
The restaurant's media release
for the event captures the fertility and frivolity of the event:
For the first week of April, the streets of Kawasaki stand erect with phallic see-saws, penis carving contests, and edible sweetmeat manhood replicas all in the name of fertility, or 'Kanamara Matsuri.'
Along the same vein at NYC's Matsuri restaurant, Chef Tadashi Ono will offer his tongue-in-cheek take on the festivities with a one-night-only Penis Matsuri menu on, of course, April Fool's Day.
The day's festivities are in partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which will be giving guests complimentary Jeremy Scott for PROPER ATTIRE® condoms*.